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Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

On January 19th, Poe turns 200. And gets a stamp. To show that his memory lives on at HFR and not just through the U.S. Postal Service, a poem by Brian Hayter from issue #34...

Thoughts on Tamerlane: Poe's Former Neighbor Speaks with a Biographer

Misery was a name for him,
a name that was given
as a prefix to every individual item:
miserylamp, miserymirror, miserybottle.

For him it was a game
that took the place of life,
knowing he would develop an ulcer
at twenty-three.

He used to say,
"Steel robots will rule this world."
No one knew what a robot was,
but it was Poe
and we all just agreed.

He used to call his fingers metacarpals
and refer to his other body parts
using technical names:

His sternum shifting upwards as he breathed,
his retinas scanning miserypages
in a miserybook.

One morning while I was raking leaves in the yard
he wandered into the street, drunker than sin,
and said,
"I have a headache, hold my trachea--"
snatched my arm
and with a cool look
in his eye
"Like daggers in my fucking skull."

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